Mrs. M. de Chambure's Baldellia, a French-bred and campaigned 3-year-old filly whose flight to the United States was delayed four days by a labor strike, finally toured the Arlington Park main course Thursday morning in advance of Saturday's Pucker Up Stakes (gr. III).The daughter of Grape Tree Road had been scheduled to
leave the Continent last Saturday, but was unable to depart Orly International Airport until noon on Tuesday, arriving at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport late Tuesday night.Accompanied on her journey by groom Veronique Verbrugghe, Baldellia, was vanned to Arlington Park, arriving shortly after midnight. David Smaga, Baldellia's trainer in France, will not be coming to Arlington. She will be saddled by Desmond McInenery for the nine-furlong turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies that carries a $150,000 purse.Baldellia, a playful, gentle dark bay who seemed to enjoy her new surroundings at Arlington Thursday, left the quarantine barn mid-morning for a leisurely gallop once around Arlington's nine-furlong main course with Verbrugghe in the saddle. She was returned to that quarantine facility immediately after her exercise. Verbrugghe indicated she was pleased with Baldellia's move.In her last trip to the post on Aug. 4 at Deauville in a one-mile stakes event, Baldellia finished eighth when facing older horses. However, on June 7 at Maisons-Laffitte, she was best by a half-length in a stakes restricted to 3-year-olds.
Saturday's Pucker Up could serve as a prep for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Arlington Oct. 26.